This is the Kiloh “Papa Doc” Smith review of the new CD by the Zakary Thaks - Passage to India. This disc is out on the Cicadelic Records label. This is a Tucson, Arizona label known for being a *sort of* clone of the dreadful Collectibles label (Contemptables to the fans in the know). This distinction is approximately twenty years old so… who knows? Maybe Cicadelic has turned over a new leaf?
Anyway, I brought the disc home and played it at a LOUD volume on my home stereo. I have included a video of this stereo in action below. I put this disc to the test. I mean, we already know the music is great but how is the sound?
Overall, I am pleased with this disc. I am sure that it has some compression on it but it’s not the hack-job that Charly Records perpetrated upon the 13th Floor Elevators catalog recently. I crank it up and the treble sounds clear. The bass end of the spectrum sounds a bit mashed together but acceptable. One can easily hear that the tracks are from different sources; a lot of time wasn’t spent on the mastering by the sound of it. Let’s face it, Cicadelic isn’t Sundazed. Cicadelic? Next time forget about the twenty page booklet and spend the energy on the mastering of the disc.
The bonus tracks are a hodge-podge from, obviiiiously, different sources. The tracks near the end are from nth generation taped sources and sound like shit. The sound is crapping out right and left. It sounds like these last three, or four, tracks were from taped sources with sonic issues and were just slapped onto the disc and cranked up to match the output of the other stuff; they sound like shit. The 'Thaks version of Levitation is particularly affected. The last song, I'm A Man, is unlistenable. I'd like to note that both of these songs were lifted from the legendary Zakary Thaks Tape that was first issued to the public by the Roky CD Club. This is a video recording, taken from a VHS copy of the master, ripped to CD. Cicadelic just took an audio rip from our video CD.
I have a word of advice for all of the Cicadelic, Contemptables & Charly-type labels of the reissue world: GET IN TOUCH WITH ME! I'll put you in touch with the Wizards of the Roky CD Club! We will show you how to properly master a CD from vintage (and different) recordings! Quit fucking things up!
Anyway, dear readers, your best bet is to find out if Cicadelic has a vinyl issue of this title and rip it to CD yourself. I love hearing that dynamic range with the touch of original tape hiss on the master. If you can’t do that, this disc will suffice but be warned of the issues with it.
Zakary Thaks Passage To India Track Listing:
1. Face To Face
2. Passage To India
3. Green Crystal Ties
4. My Door (mono)
5. Reality Is The Only Answer
6. Can You Hear Your Daddy’s Footsteps
7. Mirror Of Yesterday
9. Bad Girl
10. I Need You
11. Won’t Come Back
12. Weekday Blues
13. Face To Face (alternate version)
14. Out Print
15. Everybody Wants To Be Somebody
16. I’ve Got Levitation
17. I’m A Man
This is the stereo that I reviewed the CD on: